A 21-year-old Detroit man accused of sex trafficking a 15-year-old girl described himself in a letter to a federal judge as “a good man in a misunderstood situation.”
According to a federal criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE, Malik McCaster allegedly held a girl captive in his cousin’s Outer Drive home for a week and forced her to perform sex acts, take drugs, and pose for sexually explicit pictures which he shared as ads on Craigslist.
The complaint alleges the teen met McCaster at a July 3 fireworks show and was offered a ride home by him. Once in the car, he allegedly refused to take the girl home and threw her cell phone out the window. “McCaster assaulted her and told her he would kill her if she tried to leave,” the complaint alleges.
But in a handwritten letter dated Aug. 24, in which McCaster asks the judge to be allowed bond, McCaster writes the charges “are not accurate. I am no saint nor am I perfect. I ask that you Judge me as an innocent man until proven guilty. I am 21 years of age with no felony history and I plan on keeping it that way.”
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He urged the judge to grant him a the opportunity for bond so that he could get back to his job and schooling, promising to show up to court and follow the judge’s orders.
“I Just ask that you try to understand a good man in a misunderstood situation,” he wrote, adding that his birthday is coming up.
His letter concluded, “p.s. a good man misunderstood.”
The complaint filed by an FBI agent alleges that a video of the teen apparently engaged in a sex act with McCaster was found in his home. Sexualized photos of the girl allegedly found on McCaster’s phone were consistent with ones found online, the complaint alleges.
On July 12, Sanilac County police responded to a 911 call from the Gemini Motel in Redford Township after the 15-year-old allegedly escaped McCaster around 2 a.m. She allegedly alerted a motel occupant that she was being held against her will. When police arrived, McCaster allegedly attempted to flee, but was stopped and arrested.
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McCaster has been jailed without bond since being charged federally on July 31 and is charged federally with child sex trafficking, child exploitation and possessing or producing child pornography.
He has pleaded not guilty. PEOPLE’s calls to McCaster’s lawyer, James Gerometta, were not immediately returned.